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Author Topic: Want to get a start....  (Read 3975 times)
WA8MEA
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« on: January 25, 2017, 09:31:31 AM »

I have finally decided to take the plunge into the digital modes.  Particularly interested in RTTY and PSK31.

What got me interested was an ad for a new and VERY inexpensive "plug & play" interface from MFJ; the MFJ-1204.  The problem?  As always with MFJ.... their suggestions for software are vague and often outdated.

Is there another inexpensive "plug & play" alternative that has software INCLUDED with the interface?

73, Bill
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ND6M
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Posts: 850




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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 01:18:01 PM »

what kind of software are you looking to be included?

PSK, RTTY, ect software, or software to activate the interface?
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N6YFM
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Posts: 832




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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2017, 04:10:57 PM »

I have finally decided to take the plunge into the digital modes.  Particularly interested in RTTY and PSK31.

What got me interested was an ad for a new and VERY inexpensive "plug & play" interface from MFJ; the MFJ-1204.  The problem?  As always with MFJ.... their suggestions for software are vague and often outdated.

Is there another inexpensive "plug & play" alternative that has software INCLUDED with the interface?

73, Bill


Hi Bill:


This short book made all the difference in getting me started;
https://www.amazon.com/Get-Air-HF-Digital/dp/087259601X/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books

After that, I tried various software packages by googling and also reading forum posts.

Cheers,

Neal
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WA4BCS
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Posts: 47




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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2017, 05:05:46 PM »

I have finally decided to take the plunge into the digital modes.  Particularly interested in RTTY and PSK31.

What got me interested was an ad for a new and VERY inexpensive "plug & play" interface from MFJ; the MFJ-1204.  The problem?  As always with MFJ.... their suggestions for software are vague and often outdated.

Is there another inexpensive "plug & play" alternative that has software INCLUDED with the interface?

73, Bill
Interfaces do not usually include software. Check out Signalink USB from Tigertronics. They list software that you can use. For RTTY download MMTTY, it is free and works great.

73, Ben
WA4BCS
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KB2HSH
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2017, 05:39:14 PM »

I've used a Buxcomm Rascal for 13 years without a hitch...on both Mac and Windows. And software DOES come with it.

As for RTTY...I've won contests and set records with fldigi.  YMMV.

KB2HSH
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ND6M
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Posts: 850




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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2017, 06:48:04 AM »

Interfaces do not usually include software...


I've used a Buxcomm Rascal for 13 years without a hitch.... And software DOES come with it...
KB2HSH


I also use a Rascal, that's why I asked "what" software.

Unless you have an older comuter, Any interface that uses a DB-9 needs an adapter and software drivers to adapt to a USB port
« Last Edit: January 26, 2017, 06:51:58 AM by ND6M » Logged
VE3PP
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2017, 08:09:59 AM »

I have finally decided to take the plunge into the digital modes.  Particularly interested in RTTY and PSK31.

What got me interested was an ad for a new and VERY inexpensive "plug & play" interface from MFJ; the MFJ-1204.  The problem?  As always with MFJ.... their suggestions for software are vague and often outdated.

Is there another inexpensive "plug & play" alternative that has software INCLUDED with the interface?

73, Bill

Almost any digital software you will need to operate is available for free on the internet.
FlDigi, WSJT-X, Digipan etc, it's all out there for free.

I use WSJT-X for JT65 and JT9.

I use Ham Radio Deluxe for rig control, logging and it includes DM 780 which I use for other digital modes. I have been using this software for close to 10 years. There are other options but I just prefer HRD as it was the software I used first and grew to like it and understand it.

My interface is an 11 year old SignaLinks USB which has performed flawlessly for me. Plug and play, nothing complicated about hooking it up. I have used it on Icom rigs, Kenwood rigs and currently on my FTdx-1200. I like it so much I bought a spare dirt cheap at a hamfest, as a back up.

So you have lots of options and if you need any help feel free to email me.
73, Rick VE3FMC
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KG5AHC
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Posts: 240




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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2017, 08:20:38 PM »

Hello Bill, let me be the first to direct you to AA5AU's documentation on RTTY, MMTTY software, and radio interfaces. http://www.aa5au.com/rtty   I learned a lot from his site.

I have an ICOM 7200 which has built in soundcard and also RTTY(FSK) so I made the effort to build an interface cable to use that mode with MMTTY software. In the end, it is a very simple interface and works very well for me.  The 7200 has FSK Keying and PTT pins in the 13 pin DIN in the back of the radio.  You can get a pre-wired pigtail from DX Engineering for this connector if you don't like soldering DIN connectors.

if you don't have RS-232 serial ports on your computer, but it has PCI slots available, you can get add-on cards with single or dual RS232 ports that become COM1 and COM2.  Actual com ports are better (simpler) way to run MMTTY than by using a SERIAL-USB converter cable.

Good luck and 73's
--Jeff KG5AHC



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VE3TMT
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Posts: 992




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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2017, 02:28:11 AM »

Hi Bill,

If you are looking for the cheapest method, the Signalink USB is probably the way to go.

Personally, I prefer to build my own interfaces.

The Signalink USB will not do direct CW keying or FSK RTTY. It is a "sound based" digital interface.

For a couple of bucks in parts, a few audio patch cords and a couple hours of your time, you can put together a serial interface that will do ALL the modes. And get the pleasure of saying you built it yourself.

If you are interested in more information, send me an email at (ve3tmt)@gmail.com  -  remove the brackets

Max
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KA4LFP
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Posts: 273




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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2017, 07:48:55 PM »

Signalink is not the cheapest.

It is probably the most stable of the interfaces for its price, aside from the big $$$ rigs that have USB and sound cards built in.

Goes for between $110-$125.

Cheapest though, is Easy-Digi at $15.00 in kit form, or about $40 wired for your radio specifically upon request.

eBay ... Cliff is a great guy and stands behind his product.

I use it with the free download FLdigi.

I believe in using software that is widely used and has a forum/group where users and the author supports it.
FLdigi has a very active Yahoo group, so does HRD.

Other software, while perhaps used by some,. may not be widely used and so far less help is available.

73, Tim
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G4AON
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Posts: 1430




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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2017, 02:53:44 AM »

Bill, what radio are you planning to use for data? Many don't need additional hardware, those with USB spring to mind. From memory the Kenwood TS590 works with Fldigi directly through USB. The Elecraft K3/K3S/KX3 don't need anything extra either, other than cables.

I use a K3 with Fldigi for "soundcard" modes. Software is a personal choice, there are quite a few free ones to try.

73 Dave
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KT4NR
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Posts: 571




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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2017, 12:56:25 PM »

Best plug and play on the market is the RigBlaster PnP. Its interface requires simple driver download, plug in a 3 wires (one mic, one speaker and one to the radio), set the audio levels for in and out, then enjoy.

For software I use the last free version of Ham Radio Deluxe (V5.) with my TS480.

I know lot of folks use FLDIGI also free.

Both those have more modes than you can shake a stick at.

Good luck!
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